Ann Gallelli: Update on the Anchorage Issue

To the Editor,ann2016

A little over two years ago communities along the Hudson River were alarmed to learn of a proposal under consideration by the Coast Guard to designate ten locations with space for 43 commercial boats to be anchored in the Hudson River between the GW bridge and Albany.

Public comment resulted in over 10,000 responses to the Coast Guard and the convening of two Port and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) workshops to which 45 people were invited of which I was one.  The invitees represented municipalities, commercial fishmen, recreational boating organizations, environmentalists, and the maritime industry. Their reports resulted in the Coast Guard discontinuing the proposed anchorage locations.

This does not mean, however, that no anchorages will be designated in the Hudson River.  Rather, the Coast Guard organized another group to further study aspects of the question including whether such anchorages are needed, safety factors to put in place for anchorages, environmental aspects, managing traffic on the Hudson and a myriad of issues related to commercial boating on the river.  This Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the same interest groups as the earlier PAWSA workshops. Historic Hudson River Towns (HHRT), a group representing municipalities along the Hudson River, has a presence on the steering committee. Within HHRT, a sub group of people of which I am one, have been strongly advocating a thorough study of all the implications of anchorages before a final decision is made.  The Coast Guard is considering the recommendations of this committee and how to move forward.

Additional anchorages are still a real possibility as the river is a commercial water way which is likely to continue in the future.  A final decision on this is not likely anytime soon as the parameters to be studied are just taking shape. As the interests of Croton are directly related to its location as a Hudson River town, we need to stay engaged with the Coast Guard’s ongoing consideration of designated anchorages.

Ann Gallelli,

Deputy Mayor, Village of Croton

 

Ann Gallelli

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